Greetings from home,
Day 2 of the Rivers of Recovery Vet/Caregiver Trip was remarkable from the first morning breathing/yoga exercise forward. These couples had taken advantage of the beautiful scenery, the renewed connection with each other, and the confidence of the previous day’s successes. For each couple, the second day was calmer, the comaraderie stronger, and the smiles just unsuppressable. And, the fish kept biting. Even for me: :-) LOL!
In watching the ROR process unfold, and while data is collected to quantify the research results, there was no waiting for personal observations. Each couple was visibly more relaxed, their interaction was quick, humorous, and kind – and sleep had come easily for the first time in a long time. As the second day concluded by the firepit under the dark, unspoiled nightscape, the participants all spoke of how they had new tools, new techniques, and new confidence in being able to help one another with stressful situations in the future. My favorite vet, who has suffered especially severe injuries and often debilitating PTSD was the most changed. He stood up with a huge grin after dinner, and said with great enthusiasm, “My anxiety is gone – it’s just gone!”. He was awed at the change in himself. And, his Caregiver was overjoyed with the lifting of her 24/7 care for these days – now that’s priceless…
We're also glad to report that the return home also went smoothly, and each couple voiced their enthusiasm for returning as a guest guide next summer. Conclusion: learn and share multiple new skills together, spend time in nature’s glory, interact with those that understand, and depart with coping skills to “bring back” the serenity and laughter shared. Trip 2 begins today and the new participants headed off for a strong start yesterday.
Good stuff –